Today was the first shore support swim trade-off I've done this winter swimming season. There were three of us and I elected to stay on shore and support first and swim second. (I guessed it would be getting dark out by the time of the second swim so I had packed my swim lights.) Watching my two friends get in the water and as they took their first strokes I remembered why I find shore support so satisfying. Once they were all the way in their bodies moved rhythmically through the smooth glass-like water. The moment their bodies relaxed and surrendered to the slight undulations of the river I felt my heart exhale. It's almost like my soul could pinpoint the moment they entered flow. I paced the bank of the river during the swim and escorted them out of the water as they finished.
Rewarming is super entertaining when you're not the one whose teeth are chattering. Sitting in the car sauna listening to their exuberant laughter and watching their shakes become shivers is almost as exciting as watching them swim.
|They're not as far out as they look. Swimmers stayed well within the protected area away from boat traffic. |
There was something spooky about the water late in the afternoon. The sky was overcast so you couldn't tell when the sun actually went down it was more of a gradual uniform graying of the sky than a sunset. The air melted into the water from one direction, and as the bank receded into deeper water it was as though it too was mixing with the sky. It's hard to say if I swam or if I flew for a few minutes. After those moments of confusion, I swam closer to shore in very shallow water, maybe two feet deep. Whenever I started to go further from shore the uniform grayness of the sky and the water were virtually indistinguishable making adjust course toward shore. I felt present in my body but my mind was like a dog with a bone worrying over assignments, exams, and perceived slights in my personal life. I knew it was time to get out before even looking at my watch because I realized how little I suddenly cared about what was stressing me out.
|Somewhere between 49 and 50?|
For what it's worth I swam just 1860 yards in half an hour at a pace of 1:37/100yards.
Oh, water was 49-50 and air was 54.
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